Workbench #1: Design Plans

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Blog entry by CartersWhittling posted 06-11-2011 03:05 PM 19551 reads 32 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workbench series Part 2: Materials Obtained »

Hello. These are the plans I have for a new workbench. I think I have decided that now is the time to build a bench I won’t need to remake. I have done lots of studing on workbench designs and could not decide between the German bench and the Roubo because of the leg vise. I had some thoughts in mind to making a double sided bench and incorporating both bench designs. I soon came across the Edwards bench. My design is not a reproduction of his bench, only based off the same concept of a double sided German/Roubo bench.

I am going to use hard maple for the entire bench and 2” wooden screws with internal garters on the legvise and tailvise. I will use splines and 4 bolts through the end caps to hold the bench top together. My bench has a 3/4” gap between the two bench sides, instead of a tool tray which I think will collect wood shavings quickly and add too much width to the bench. This gap will allow the top boards to move and provide similar abilities as the bench Bob Rozaieski built The base will be built with pegged and through mortise and tenons and attached to the top with bullet dowels. The top is designed at 72” long (without the tailvise length) 42” wide at the should vise and about 30” wide across the bench top. I’m a short guy and I do a lot of hand planing so the bench will be about 31” high. When I get material for the bench I am willing to change some bench dimensions to use the most of the the lumber I have.

In the drawings I made the top, base, and moveable parts 3 seperate colours for easier viewing. The bench has a should vise, tail vise, crochet, leg vise, sliding deadman and the removeable spacer between the bench top. The drawing does not include some of the joinery or fasteners like the bolts and rods, aswell as holes for hold fasts in the roubo side of the bench and dog holes along the tail vise.

If anyone sees anything that may be a design flaw or something that should be changed please let me know.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

9 comments so far

View therookie's profile


887 posts in 3025 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 03:10 PM

Very nice design


View Rileysdad's profile


110 posts in 3476 days

#2 posted 06-11-2011 07:22 PM

Very interesting design. I’m curious, what functions can you perform on this bench that you cannot on a Roubo with the tail vice, leg vice and the sliding deadman?

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2872 days

#3 posted 06-11-2011 09:14 PM

Traditional Roubo benches don’t have tailvises, and I’m not too fond of newer mechanical tailvises. Although I could make a bench more like the Shaker bench with a tailvise and legvise. Without a Moxon’s twin screw or an apron with holdfast holes you can be limited to extra clamping methods to do work on the end grain of large boards, so the shoulder vise provides a way to hold wide boards, aswell as pieces that taper. Although another sliding legvise could be used in such a case. I suppose with these 3 vises most clamping situations should be possible. And like Mr. Edwards style of work his shop revolves around his bench so each vise serves the tasks it is most excellent at.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View JessieinMO's profile


14 posts in 2624 days

#4 posted 10-25-2011 03:24 AM

So, did you build this yet? I just hit the ground back in the states and I need to build a new workbench as well.


View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2872 days

#5 posted 10-25-2011 06:37 PM

I am in the process. If you go to my next blog entries you can see the build in progress. I currently have 14 entries and am now working on the base.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View SeaWitch's profile


149 posts in 2592 days

#6 posted 11-17-2011 07:35 AM

May I ask 2 questions? How big is the gap that the shoulder vise travels? and how do attach the wood plate to the screw (on the shoulder vise) so that the plate swivels/articulates?

It’s a pleasure to watch your videos and read your blog.

-- When you are asked if you can do a job, tell 'em, 'Certainly I can!' Then get busy and find out how to do it.”   Theodore Roosevelt

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2872 days

#7 posted 11-21-2011 01:31 AM

The should vise travel is around 7 inches, but the chop is about 2 inches thick. So the vice can clamp a piece around 5 inches thick. To attach the screw to the chop I have a hole cut about 3/4” into the chop with a kind of “external garter” that captures a knob turned into the end of the screw. I am going to make a video soon going over my entire bench, and I will make sure to show exactly how it works.

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View jackcamino's profile


21 posts in 2517 days

#8 posted 01-19-2012 06:59 AM

Hi there, I know you have more entries, and I have not checked those,yet. Here, I am planning on the design of my new workbench and because I am no really familiar I am trying to understand all about screws and vises. I like the concept of the wagon vise I’ve found some pictures on the internet, anyway, assuming you know about vises and workbenches my question is how different a wagon vise would be compared to the tail vise?. Is a good idea using a wooden screw for a wagon vise.

-- When you think that I am buried and I will revive. (folio 59ii RECTO). Codex Atlanticus. Leonardo da Vinci. c.1490

View pavelkraus's profile


1 post in 1450 days

#9 posted 12-21-2014 11:05 PM

I can buy somewhere in your plans for this workbench? tnx Pavel

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